Osie Johnson

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James "Osie" Johnson (January 11, 1923, in Washington, D.C. – February 10, 1966, in New York City) was a jazz drummer, arranger and singer.[1]

Johnson studied at Armstrong Highschool where he was classmates with Leo Parker and Frank Wess.[1] He first worked with Sabby Lewis and then, after service in the United States Navy, freelanced for a time in Chicago. From 1951 to 1953, he was a member of Earl Hines's band.[2]

He can be heard on albums by Paul Gonsalves, Zoot Sims, and Mose Allison and is the drummer on Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife". (Some sources list Don Lamond as the drummer on "Mack the Knife") and on Ray Conniff's first album 'S Wonderful!. He recorded the album A Bit of the Blues as a singer and had arranged at a "hit" for singer Dinah Washington. His final recordings as a singer were on a J. J. Johnson album, now compiled as a collection called Goodies.

In 1957, Johnson appeared with Thelonious Monk and Ahmed Abdul-Malik on The Sound of Jazz.[3]

Johnson died from kidney failure in 1966, at the age of 43.[1]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Bob Brookmeyer

With Jimmy Cleveland

With Al Cohn

With Coleman Hawkins

With Johnny Hodges

With Hank Jones

With Quincy Jones

With Howard McGhee

With Joe Newman

With Oscar Pettiford

With Jimmy Raney

With Ben Webster

With others


  1. ^ a b c Feather, Leonard (1999). The biographical encyclopedia of jazz. Oxford University Press. p. 365. ISBN 978-0-19-507418-5.
  2. ^ All Music
  3. ^ Video on YouTube

External links[edit]